Will Gwyneth Paltrow do Dietrich?

 
 

Dear Gwyneth Paltrow:

You were really cute on Glee. You made me forget that I think you’re sometimes slightly smug and a wee bit wan. As Holly Holliday, you were positively delightful. But please don’t push it. I mean it, watch yourself. Don’t go doing something stupid like playing the iconic, inimitable Marlene Dietrich. Oh, crap, you are thinking of doing something stupid exactly like that? Are you mad, woman?

Just because you own a shiny gold guy named Oscar doesn’t mean you can be Dietrich. No one can be Dietrich but Dietrich. Those smoldering eyes, that smoky voice. Sweet fancy Moses (and Apple – seriously, who names her children that?), the tuxedoes. OK, OK, I’m going to compose myself and try to think rationally about why you would make this sort of career choice and try to play one of the most famous, most fabulous screen legends of all time. I’m still thinking, I’m still thinking.

The news of your signing onto a biopic about the famed German actress and singer made the rounds earlier this week via Collider, who apparently found it via a French TV news magazine. But this is actually rather old news. Way back in 2004 you were rumored to be getting your inseam measured to play the famous trouser-wearing (and equally trouserless) icon. And then the rumor reappeared about a year ago as a BBC project.

So now the rumor is back, this time as a two-part TV movie produced by Luc Besson’s new EuropaCorp TV. This is kind of the rumor that won’t die. Which means it’s the rumor which might come true. Which means are you mad, woman?

The project is based on the biography written by Marlene’s daughter, Maria Riva. It is being adapted by Emmy Award-winning screenwriter Andrew Davies (the man behind the BBC adaptations of Little Dorrit, Sense & Sensibility and Bleak House – also the two Bridget Jones movies) and would span from her early days in the Berlin cabaret to her Hollywood super stardom.

Look, Gwynnie, I know you’re all into this singing thing what with your country music movie coming out and all those jazz hands on Glee. But there are a lot less intimidating and impossible to imitate actresses you could sing and dance as. How about Ginger Rogers? Doris Day? Dinah Shore? Rosemary Clooney? I’m basically just going for any blonde singer who is not Marlene at this point.

But if you indeed are signing on to play Marlene, I hope you play all of Marlene. And by that I mean the gay stuff. Not only her affairs with everyone from Frank Sinatra to Gary Cooper, John Wayne to Yul Brynner, but also Mercedes de Acosta (Greta Garbo’s longtime lover) and French songstress Edith Piaf. Oh, la la indeed.

In summation, I still think you’re crazy. I still don’t understand why you named your website after something unpleasant you find in the tub. But if you still insist on doing this, you’d better look damn good in a suit – preferably with pants. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

With reservations,

Gay ladies everywhere

 
 

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